Gazimestan

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Coordinates: 42°41′26″N 21°07′25″E / 42.69056°N 21.12361°E / 42.69056; 21.12361

Gazimestan monument.

Gazimestan (Serbian: Газиместан, Serbian pronunciation: [ɡaziměstaːn]) is the name of a monument commemorating the historical Battle of Kosovo, situated about 6-7 kilometres north-northeast of the actual battlefield, known as Kosovo Field (Kosovo Polje/Косово Поље; Albanian: Fushë Kosovë). The monument was designed by Aleksandar Deroko and built in 1953 under the authority of the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia. It is in the shape of a medieval tower. Gazimestan is reached from the Pristina-Kosovska Mitrovica highway, on a 50 m hill above the plain, ca. 5 km north-west from Pristina.

Etymology[edit]

The name is a portmanteau derived from Arabic ghazi, meaning "hero" or "champion", and Serbian word mesto, meaning "place".

History[edit]

The monument was the location of the Gazimestan speech delivered by Slobodan Milošević on the 600th anniversary of that battle in 1989, which preceded a violent surge in nationalistic and ethnic tensions prior to the Breakup of Yugoslavia.

Inscribed on the monument is the "Kosovo curse" attributed to Prince Lazar:

"Whoever is a Serb and of Serb birth
And of Serb blood and heritage
And comes not to the Battle of Kosovo,
May he never have the progeny his heart desires!
Neither son nor daughter
May nothing grow that his hand sows!
Neither dark wine nor white wheat
And let him be cursed from all ages to all ages!"

This form of the curse first appeared in the 1845 edition of the collection of Serbian folk songs by Vuk Karadžić.

See also[edit]

Annotations[edit]

a.   ^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Kosovo. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia claims it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalize relations in 2013, as part of the Brussels Agreement. Kosovo has been recognised by 108 out of 193 United Nations member states.

References[edit]

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